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Investing in sporting goods can be a challenge whether you are a beginner or a seasoned professional. Year after year, new products are made in different editions for all types of activities. The options are endless, which means that sometimes choosing the right product and at the right price can be all that much more challenging.

If you are spending countless hours online looking at your favorite athlete’s must-have products only to discover that they are way out of your price budget, you’re not alone. There are many essential athletic products, and they can all be found at a fair price.

Where to Start

Before you begin your journey for essentials, check directory sites like Shopping-Canada.com to find what mall near you has the right sporting stores. You want to go to a mall with the best options for athletes because the chances of one having everything you need is more complex than you’d expect. Some stores focus on hi-tech products for athletes while others stick to the clothing side. Diversity may not be the case for all the stores, but it is for some. So why not give yourself more options?

Going into the store allows you to get a better feel for the product and checking out to see if it works for you and your needs, but a directory will help you plan. Once you’ve got the mall, its location and its hours in mind, you can pack your list of essentials and head out the door for a more seamless trip.

When beginning your athletic journey, it’s also important to keep in mind that more expensive doesn’t always equate to better. The good news is you can use a directory to identify what stores have the best sales or promotions.

These essentials will help you throughout your career or hobby without breaking the bank whether you are on a beginner, intermediate or advanced level:

Heart Rate Monitor

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The latest holy grail for any athlete is a heart rate monitor. Most monitors measure your heart rate, distance, steps and speed while simultaneously receiving messages. It is crucial to be aware of your heart rate, especially in sports that require a lot of cardiovascular exercises. Most brands have even come out with monitors for kids who want to have a cool trendy watch to motivate them to move.

Affordable Options:

  • Fitbit Inspire 2 ($)
  • Polar H10 Heart Rate Sensor ($$)

Strength Training

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Strength training is a universal workout for any athlete. No matter the equipment you are using, working on your strength is essential. Those using dumbbells at home have a wide variety of options varying in price depending on weight. An alternative to this would be resistance bands that also come in different weights and have different colours for easy distinguishing.

Affordable Options:

  • Resistance bands ($)
  • Rogue dumbbells ($$)

Massaging Muscles

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Massage guns and foam rollers are products most will come across if on a physio journey. Releasing tension in your muscles and improving circulation is crucial in your success as an athlete and is not to be taken lightly. Whether you’re a swimmer, a tennis player or a hockey player, the benefits of massage are essential.

Affordable Options:

  • Foam roller ($)
  • Aldom Massage Gun ($$)

Proper Shoes

Each sport calls for a different type of shoe, which is why it’s necessary to go into stores looking for a shoe tailored to your sport. Runners with high arched feet will go for more of a cushioned running shoe. In contrast, basketball, tennis or volleyball players would go for “court shoes” because of their solid tread and proven stability in all directions. Athletic shoes can vary in prices depending on the sport, but it’s important to note the everyday use of the shoes. The value in picking the right pair is to avoid a potential future injury.

Affordable Options:

  • PUMA Clyde Hardwood Basketball Shoes ($)
  • New Balance Fuelcell Propel v2 (SS)

Headphones

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Nowadays, with wireless headphones everywhere, you’d think that finding the right headphones for an easy workout would be easy. Think again. Although the market is vast, it can become difficult to differentiate between which headphones are sure to fall out of your ears and which ones will withstand a workout.  The key to looking into the type of headphone you’re purchasing and seeing if it sits on the outer part of your ears or goes directly into the ear canal. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for headphones, as the best headphones for you will differ from your fellow athlete, depending on your ear shape.

Affordable Options:

  • JLab Audio GO Air True Wireless Earbuds ($)
  • AfterShokz Air Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones ($$)

Yoga Mat

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Before you go out for your run or want to do some at-home exercises, a mat will come in handy. Mats have surpassed just being used for yoga and are now practical for anyone, athlete or not. It can be the base to your journey to a stronger core, increase flexibility and improve balance. Regardless of the sport you decide to pursue and how long, this mat will benefit you well after your sporting career.

Luckily, yoga mats can be purchased almost anywhere, but determining the right one for you can be a challenge. While a microfiber yoga mat is super absorbent for those who sweat a little easier, a PVC yoga mat is durable and effective (albeit with environmental complications).

Affordable Options:

  • Gaiam Yoga Mat ($)
  • PROLITE® Yoga Mat ($$)

Compression Clothing

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While the question of the usefulness of compression clothing work is still up for debate in the sports world, this is still an article of clothing that many swear by. Socks, (which have been scientifically proven to reduce swelling and blood clots), shirts, shorts and leggings are a few options for anyone considering compression clothing.

Whether this clothing provides a psychological benefit or something more is for you to decide. There are thousands of options from your favourite brands, but many come with a hefty price tag. Research and practicality come into play when looking for your fitting garments.

Affordable Options:

  • Under Armour ($)
  • Alo Yoga ($$)

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